Tag Archive for 'canning'

Pink Grapefruit, Naval Orange, Meyer Lemon

I just got back from Epic Lady Vacation in Puerto Rico. We stayed on the beach in San Juan for the first few days, because, as Naomi said, “we’re not here to prove how bohemian we are.” Instead, I said, we went to prove that we have nice shoulders, that we love swimming in the ocean, and that we tan up nicely. In July, lying on the beach at Fort Tilden or Jacob Riis, I pointed out how good we are at enjoying the sun and ocean and declared that we should plan to do this when it’s cold in New York. So we planned for Puerto Rico in January, and then all of a sudden exams were over and we were taking off our flip flops and beach dresses and plunging into the Atlantic.

Puerto Rico, Jan 2012
(Naomi and Naomi, walking in Vieques)

The thing about vacation — at least for me — is that time spent not doing certain things reminds me that I love them. And vacation is not really a time for making. I knit a little bit of sock when we were hanging out in our little traveller’s apartment one night, and I made us a salad when we realized that beer wasn’t really dinner, but vacation is not time for cooking or crafting. So it was nice to come home and trudge through the snow to the coop to buy oranges and meyer lemons and grapefruit for Three Citrus Marmalade . I zested, cut away the pith, supreme the segments, and boiled it all up with sugar. It took longer than I expected for the pot to hit 220 degrees, and even so I’m not sure that it really set, but I have 6 beautiful translucent jars of sweet and tart citrus deliciousness.

Copious Cans of Curried Cauliflower

curried caulifour

I worked a Saturday night shift at the co-op, ringing up fun Saturday night groceries (lots of pints of ice cream, and ice cream sandwiches!), and got home at 11. I had bought 2 small heads of cauliflower to put up using the Curried Cauliflower recipe in Put ‘Em Up, and I decided just to go for it. I have a mixed CD from my friend and former roommate Holland called “late night baking” (the cover features a receipt for flour, baking powder, and chocolate chips timestamped at 2:12am); I suppose I could make a complementary version called “late night canning.”

And then I used a bicycle stamp to make the labels. Yay!

Also, gearing up for Thanksgiving, I made a batch of Cranberry Walnut Orange Mint Relish, from Karen Solomon’s Can It Bottle It Smoke It–a book I won from a giveaway over at Punk Domestics — one of the best canning sites there is. I am looking forward to eating this soon.

cranberry relish

jars and frustration

all labeled

This is a photo of some corn relish/salsa (a combination of 2 similar recipes, one called salsa one called relish) I made in August, which seems like a very long time ago, now. Yesterday I made some applesauce and some roasted tomatillo salsa — using 2 of what Alan says are the very last of the local heirloom tomatoes we’ll see this year. It was sort of a disappointing canning day–one of my applesauce jars broke in the canner and there was applesauce everywhere, and the yield from the ~6 pounds of apples was much less sauce than I was anticipating in the first place. And I could swear that there’s one quart of applesauce from last fall’s canning batch, but I can’t find it anywhere! Which is crazy. Canned goods don’t just up and walk away. For serious. I guess I ought to just make some more — I have a vision of rows and rows of applesauce to eat with oatmeal and make into applesauce cake all winter. Maybe I should just make a salted caramel apple pie.

It’s really important to know when to redirect your frustration!


Blogging, Grad School, Making Things

Rhubarab Jam

Oh man! When best-blogger-ever (and classmate) Rembert Browne linked to my blog this morning I was awed and flattered! So nice to be included in a roundup of grad-school bloggers, most of whom have way better and cleverer blog names than I. Rembert writes “500 Days Asunder,” and Judy’s is “Taiwanderlust.” Amazing.

Anyhow, I thought I better make good on the promises of a blog that shows off stuff that I make when I’m not doing work. And thankfully Rem’s shout-out coincided with the opening of canning season! Yesterday I transformed 2 and a quarter pounds of rhubarb into 6 half-pints of rosemary-rhubarb jam.

Rhubarab Jam

Happily, one of the jars didn’t seal, so I just dug into it, eating it with fresh ricotta on a baguette that my friend Naomi brought over. And then the other Naomi and I got on our bikes and took a tour of the old brewery buildings of North Brooklyn.

brooklyn bike beer blitz
brooklyn bike beer blitz (notice the barrels embedded in the building)
brooklyn bike beer blitz
brooklyn bike beer blitz

Pickled Watermelon Rinds

jars on the windowsill

Monday was watermelon-rind pickling day. Man–that’s a serious process. Even just peeling and cubing the rinds is tons of work (that was done slowly, as I ate up watermelon). Then soaking in brine. Then rinsing and boiling. Then boiling sugar and vinegar and fruit. Then adding the rinds back in. Then removing them and reducing the syrup. And then sterilizing and packing and processing. I went to bed much later than I should have; I hope these things are delicious in the end!

The recipe came from Vegan Soul Kitchen, which is not a canning book, but does have a whole section on no-waste watermelon. There are recipes in 2 other of my canning books, maybe I’ll try those too. Watermelons produce a lot of rind…

putting food by

putting food by On one of the hottest days in July, I went over to Emily’s house to help with the canning of some jam and some dilly beans. On her dining room table (the one that has all the food on it in that post about Brooklyn thanksgiving a few posts back), she had a copy of Putting Food By — the classic 1970s (revised in the late 80s) book about food preserving. I found my own copy of it at Value Village in Toronto and was thrilled. How often do you find exactly what you’re looking for on thrift store bookshelves?

No-so-secretly, I’m excited that it’s no longer jam-making time…I’m a much bigger fan of salty and spicy things. I am particularly excited about making pickled mushrooms, pickled onions, maybe some beets, and some apple chutney.